David Rosenberg co-founded AeroFarms with Ed Harwood. Aerofarms grows leafy greens in a controlled indoor environment using LED lights and 90% less water than traditional farming. He also co-founded and chairs Hycrete, a unique nanotechnology company focused on sustainable concrete construction.
“This is not genetically modified produce — we use organic seed and grow without pesticides.”
Long a fan of clean-tech innovations, David Rosenberg joined Aerofarms in 2011, to help shepherd the enterprise into its next phase. Using aeroponics, the company grows leafy green crops indoors without the need for soil or sun, producing up to 60 times the amount of food as conventional methods in the same amount of space. While the cost of production ameliorates considerably over time, David admits, “Obtaining financing is the hardest part of scaling this business due to the upfront capital required to build the farms.” They continue to seek out new “channel partners, both retailers and distributors” focusing on “ones that share our values and know how to brand high quality, pesticide-free, locally-grown produce.”
David’s other venture, Hycrete, founded in 2002, transforms concrete into a sustainable, recyclable material. Concrete from demolished buildings is typically shipped to landfills – making up 12 percent of all trash. Hycrete instead uses a process invented by David’s grandfather that modifies water molecules so it repels water when dry. When added to concrete, the material becomes waterproof, eliminating the need for the extra step currently used in which the dried concrete is wrapped in a petroleum-based membrane which renders the concrete useless afterward. As a result, Hycrete shortens construction time, reduces maintenance costs, and extends the concrete’s usefulness after the building cycle.
David was recognized in 2010 as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader where he, “pushes stakeholders to consider smart design, smart chemistry, manufacturing processes including renewable energy, societal benefit and full life cycle including how materials are used after their useful life.”